I wanna to rock 'n' roll all night ... and gamble ev-er-y-day. Couldn't resist, folks. KISS has just signed its first licensing deal for lottery tickets. The scratchers, capturing the best of KISS face paint and pleather regalia, launch into the $225-billion-a-year global lottery industry next week. The deal between the band/pop-culture brand and the New Mexico Lottery must represent the zillionth piece of KISS merchandise, or close to it. The finely honed marketing machine that is KISS, indistinguishable from the guys who used to (and still occasionally do) play music, has always been genius about using its image to sell product. (The band has sold 80 million records, too.) This time, fans plunking down hard-earned cash for KISS swag will be contributing to the state's higher-education fund. If the tickets sell out, they'll raise about $900,000 for scholarships, New Mexico lotto officials say. If players don't pocket any of the cash prizes, they'll still have a chance to win trips to see KISS on its "Hottest Show on Earth" tour in September. KISS, which has its first new record in 11 years to promote, isn't the only band to go this route: Aerosmith did it last year with branded lottery tickets across several states. Odds are good that more of these deals are coming. Who should be next? Metallica? Bon Jovi? Extra credit for extra bad puns.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley